Originally from Perth, Dr Debra Shearer-Dirié maintains an active career as a choral conductor, music educator, clinician and scholar. She holds a Master of Music Education degree and Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Indiana University. During her time there she directed the Indiana University Children’s and Youth Choir, was assistant director to maestro Paul Hillier with the Pro Arte Singers, and Director of the International Vocal Ensemble at Indiana University for two years. From 2000 to 2001, she conducted the Northwest Girlchoir in Seattle, a 400-voice organization of young women who perform frequently with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Debra has received numerous invitations to present at national conferences both abroad and in Australia, including the National Conference of the American Choral Director’s Association in New York in 2003, and has been invited to present at each Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) Choralfest since she has returned to Australia in 2003.
Upon arriving in Brisbane mid 2003, she conducted the Queensland Young Conservatorium Chamber Choir through diverse repertoire which led to an invitation to perform at the ANCA conference in 2004. In 2005, she was appointed Musical Director of Brisbane Concert Choir, and in 2006 founded Vox Pacifica Chamber Choir. In 2009 she founded Fusion, a semi-professional adult a capella ensemble. She continually searches for opportunities to collaborate with other musical groups, composers, dancers, visual artists and cultural groups. Debra's most recent vocal ensemble is Vintage Voices, a programme for older people in the community to join in song. She began leading this group 18 months ago.
Debra has lectured at the Queensland Conservatorium, The University of Queensland School of Music, and in 2013 will be teaching at the Australian Catholic University. She is currently serving as editor of the ANCA journal Sing Out, and on the National Council for ANCA. Debra is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and conductor for festivals and eisteddfods throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Previous permanent conductors of Brisbane
Concert Choir were Dr. Guy E.
Jansen (founder and patron), Christopher Kiver, and Graeme Morton. Following a 12 month search and audition process,
Dr. Debra Shearer-Dirié was appointed Musical Director of
the Choir in 2005.